[2024] How To Add Subtitles In Premiere Pro - 5 QUICK Steps

To effectively use and edit captions in Adobe Premiere Pro, start by familiarizing yourself with the Assembly view, Captions Panel, and Timeline. Use the AI Transcription tools in the Captions Panel to create subtitles and captions, ensuring you have a stable internet connection for the best results. Customize your captions by adjusting the text, timestamp, and duration directly in the Captions Panel or on the timeline. For more personalization, use the Essential Graphics panel to modify the color, alignment, fonts, and background of your captions. If collaborating with others, understand how to import and export caption files for seamless integration into your project. Enhance your editing skills further by exploring additional resources such as professional LUTs for Premiere Pro.

November 8, 2023
[2024] How To Add Subtitles In Premiere Pro - 5 QUICK Steps
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How do you add subtitles in Premiere Pro?

The first thing you'll encounter when adding captions is the choice of format. You have four options: CEA-608, CEA-708, Teletext, and Open Captions. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but I'd suggest going with CEA-708. It's a sweet spot between compatibility and features.

CEA-608 might as well be considered the older sibling of CEA-708. It's a bit outdated but still works on most devices. However, it doesn't include all the latest features that CEA-708 offers.

How about Teletext? Well, it's typically the European standard for adding subtitles. If your audience is primarily in Europe, this could be a viable option.

Lastly, there's the Open Captions option. These are "burned into" the video file, meaning they can't be toggled off in a video player. They're hard encoded into the finished video file. This might be useful for certain projects, but it doesn't offer the flexibility of the other options.

Understanding the Premiere Pro Interface for Captions

Adobe Premiere Pro does have an intuitive interface for adding captions, but it might seem a little hidden away at first. There are three panels you need to keep in view while working with captions:

  1. Project Browser: This panel shows all the files available to work within your Premiere project. It's like your toolbox, filled with all the elements you need for your video project.
  2. Captions Panel: This is where the magic happens. The captions panel is the focus of this tutorial, as it includes all the tools you need to add captions and subtitles to your video project.
  3. Timeline: The timeline is a sequential view of the clips and effects in your Premiere project. It controls where you'll drop your captions in. Keep this panel in view to control where you add your captions.

Now, you might be wondering, "What if I can't see all these panels?" Don't worry. You can customize your workspace in Premiere Pro to suit your needs. Simply go to the Window menu and select the panels you want to see.

Adding a New Caption Track

Once you're familiar with the interface, let's move on to adding a new caption track. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to the Sequence > Captions > Add New Caption Track. This will open a pop-up window with options for adding subtitles to your finished video project.
  2. Select the CEA-708 setting. I'd suggest this as the sweet spot between compatibility and features.
  3. Click OK, and a Blank Captions Layer will be added to the top of the timeline.

Now, you're all set to start adding captions to your video. But how about editing them? Well, that's where the Captions Panel comes into play.

Editing Captions in Premiere Pro

The Captions Panel is your one-stop shop for all things related to captions. Here, you can edit the text, timing, and format of your captions. You can even add effects to make your captions more engaging.

I'm leaning towards using the Captions Panel for most of my caption editing needs. However, you can also edit captions directly on the timeline. For example, you can adjust the timing of your captions by dragging the edges of the caption file on the timeline.

For more detailed instructions on editing captions, you might want to check out this guide on how to change resolution in Premiere Pro. It provides a similar process that can be applied to editing captions.

The Assembly View: Your Captioning Workspace

Think of the Assembly view as your workspace, where all the tools you need are laid out neatly. It's the perfect place to start building your captions, with the Project Browser, Captions Panel, and Timeline all visible simultaneously. But what if you're new to this? Don't worry, I've got you covered.

The Captions Panel: Your Captioning Command Center

Creating subtitles and captions in Premiere Pro is as easy as pie, thanks to the AI Transcription tools. Keep in mind, though, that you'll need an internet connection for these automated functions. Also, the clarity of the speaker will affect the success of your transcription. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Open the Captions Panel by going to Window > Text.
  2. Click Transcribe Sequence in the Captions tab. You'll see a pop-up box with more options.
  3. Select your desired audio track, language, and number of speakers from the drop-down list.
  4. Click Create and let Premiere do its magic. It'll take a few minutes to transcribe your sequence.
  5. Once done, play your timeline and review the transcription in the Captions panel. Make any necessary corrections.
  6. When you're satisfied, click the Create Captions button at the top of the panel.
  7. In the pop-up window, select Create Captions from Transcription.
  8. Click Create again, and voila! Your captions are added to the timeline.

Customizing Captions: The Art of Personalization

Now that you've got your captions in place, how about adding a personal touch? There are several options to consider. For instance, if you choose Open Captions, you can select from a wide range of fonts. Remember, Open Captions are "burned in" onto the video, essentially becoming part of the finished video file.

To tweak your captions, head back to the panel and adjust the text or timestamp as needed. You can also manually adjust the duration of your captions by dragging the end of your captions in the subtitles track.

Adding a new caption is easy. Just ensure there's room in the timeline, select a caption in the Captions panel, right-click, and choose Add New Caption Before/After. Type your text in the new caption box.

For captions that span over 2 or more lines, hit the Return button in the Caption Editor. You can also adjust the color, alignment, fonts, and background of your captions in the Essential Graphics panel.

Collaborating with Captions: Import & Export Settings

If you're working with others, like a translator, on your subtitle project, it's helpful to know how to import and export caption files. Rather than working within the same Premiere project (.prproj file format), you can import exported caption files into your project.

To export, click the 3 dots in the top right corner of the Captions panel, choose Export XML, name your file, and choose a location. To import an SRT file, open the Captions Tab, click Import Captions in the Captions panel, and choose to use Source Timecode in the dialogue box. Your captions should be correctly timed, but you may need to reselect your design preferences.

So, there you have it. Working with captions in Premiere Pro might seem like a tall order at first, but with practice, it becomes second nature.


What is the easiest way to add subtitles to a video in Premiere Pro?

The easiest way to add subtitles to a video in Premiere Pro is by using the AI Transcription tools. It's like having a smart assistant who does most of the work for you. You just need to open the Captions Panel, click 'Transcribe Sequence', and select your audio track, language, and number of speakers. After clicking 'Create', Premiere Pro will transcribe your sequence. You can then review the transcription, make any corrections, and hit the 'Create Captions' button to add the subtitles to your video.

How do I add subtitles to an mp4 in Premiere?

Adding subtitles to an mp4 in Premiere is like adding sprinkles to your ice cream, it just makes it better. You start by importing your mp4 file into Premiere Pro. Then, open the Captions Panel and click 'Transcribe Sequence'. Choose your audio track, language, and number of speakers, and click 'Create'. Premiere Pro will transcribe your audio into text. Once it's done, you can review and correct the transcription. When you're satisfied, click the 'Create Captions' button, select 'Create Captions from Transcription', and click 'Create'. Your subtitles will then be added to your mp4 video on the timeline.